Your Mind: Legal Status, Rights and Securing Yourself

Expo Theatre (Hall G) October 20, 2009 - Feedback     

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James Arlen
Tiffany Strauchs Rad

As a participant in the information economy, you no longer exclusively own material originating from your organic brain; you leave a digital trail with your portable device”’s transmitted communications and when your image is captured by surveillance cameras. Likewise, if you Tweet or blog, you have outsourced a large portion of your memory and some of your active cognition to inorganic systems. U.S. and International laws relating to protection of intellectual property and criminal search and seizure procedures puts into question protections of these ephemeral communications and memoranda stored on your personal computing devices, in cloud computing networks, on off-shore “subpoena proof” server/jurisdiction-hopping platforms, or on social networking sites. Although once considered to be futuristic technologies, as we move our ideas and memories onto external devices or are subjected to public surveillance with technology (Future Attribute Screening Technology) that assesses pre-crime thoughts by remotely measuring biometric data such as heart rate, body temperature, pheromone responses, and respiration, where do our personal privacy rights to our thoughts end and, instead, become public expressions with lesser legal protections? Similarly, at what state does data in-transit or stored in implantable medical devices continuously connected to the Internet become searchable? In a society in which there is little differentiation remaining between self/computer, thoughts/stored memoranda, and international boundaries, a technology lawyer/computer science professor and a security professional will recommend propositions to protect your data and yourself.